Are you thinking about buying an all-electric car in the short to medium term? If so, you'll want to keep up with the latest news and analyse EV market trends. What are some of the biggest stories of the day surrounding electric cars, and how might they affect your buying decision?
Making It Cheaper
Some people baulk at the price of a new electric vehicle. While they realise that it should be cheaper to run, they may need to finance the initial purchase anyway, and existing government grants may not be enough. So what if your EV could actually make you some money?
Enter Nuvve. This start-up has gained a great deal of traction at the head of a movement called "vehicle to grid." With support from major companies like Toyota, Nuvve aims to perfect technology to let owners of the best electric cars adopt bidirectional charging.
This concept connects the vehicle through its charging cable to the National Grid. When they've fully charged the car, the owner can effectively "sell" the energy to the grid when consumer demand is high. The grid will then return the power to the vehicle when demand subsides, and supply prices are lower.
Nuvve guarantees that the vehicle will always be ready for use by the owner whenever needed, and the result should be a net gain in the consumer's bank account at month's end. Plus the owner will always retain control through a dedicated app, linked to the central server.
This groundbreaking company has one project underway in Oxfordshire already. As it has patented the technology and has backers with bottomless pockets, it should certainly become a key market player in the near future.
Germany Leads the Way
While Norway was once the poster child for electric cars, Germany has now powered into the lead. These days, politicians in Europe's largest economy offer handsome subsidies across the board, which has led to a sizeable growth in an otherwise stagnant automotive market.
Homegrown automakers are quick to catch on as well, with BMW, Volkswagen Audi and Mercedes rolling out new electric cars as quickly as possible. Some observers believe that one out of every four new vehicles sold in Germany will be electric by the end of 2021.
And Tesla is ready to get their slice of the pie as well. The American company plans to design and engineer new models (starting with the Model Y) at a brand-new giga-factory outside Berlin. Growth will likely continue, as the German government aims to keep cash incentives in place through the middle of the decade. Politicians will also invest heavily in charging networks around the country.
While Germany seems poised to lead the way across the continent, Norway can still claim to have the highest penetration of EVs per capita anywhere in the world.
Will they or won't they? Apple bosses have never been shy about technological development, but an electric car project has been on-again/off-again for many years now. Yet recent news may point to a 2024 launch for a brand-new car line which, you suspect, will undoubtedly shake up the status quo.
Eagle-eyed investors may have noticed several filed patents throughout 2020 and these documents may point to a resurgence of interest over at Cupertino. While these files may only paint part of the picture, you can be sure that Apple has something game-changing up its sleeve. After all, this company never seems to do anything without much fanfare and innovation.
Could Apple finally crack the battery problem and equip this new vehicle range with longer-lasting, lighter and cheaper power? Certainly, Tesla is focused in this area too, and perhaps between them, they could finally push the concept of electric cars into the mainstream.
The Wolverine Truck
If you've been on the lookout for something practical and wish that you could buy an electric truck of some kind, Tesla may have the answer. While Elon Musk was at pains to point out that their all-new Cybertruck would not make its way out of the US (the undisputed leader when it comes to pickup trucks), a smaller and international version is likely to appear.
Musk reckons that more than a quarter of a million people have placed orders for the aggressively styled new truck in the US and the design is nothing if not futuristic. It's also extremely quick from a standing start, and the model leader will have a range of 500 miles. Consumers can expect to pay $70,000 for this, but a less brutal version will feature less capacity at around half the price.
Musk hinted that the international version would be smaller and with a "tight wolverine package," drawing reference to the character from the X-Men trilogy.
So where is the tipping point when it comes to electric car adoption? Less than five years back, executives at one of the big three automakers of the time scoffed at the very concept and Ford, in particular, had just one, very basic electric Focus in their entire range. But today, there is undoubtedly a groundswell.
Boris Johnson's government has undoubtedly accelerated this trend in the UK by signing the death warrant for vehicles powered by a petrol or diesel engine. With that 2030 deadline on the horizon, manufacturers will now move ever more quickly away from ICE and toward alternative propulsion methods.
As this happens, the resale value of petrol and diesel-powered cars will begin a steady decline. Simultaneously, companies like Tesla, Apple and Volkswagen will continue to plough plenty of money into EV development. This investment will undoubtedly make batteries more affordable, lighter, and give them greater capability, to once and for all put range anxiety to bed.
With the number of new electric car models growing by the week, consumers will soon have plenty of choices. They may be able to take advantage of government grant availability, a much broader infrastructure and even ways to make money out of their own investment.
Still, it's difficult to predict when the industry will reach that tipping point, and sales of the electric car in the UK will outperform the ICE. However, it's likely to be well before the 2030 deadline imposed by the Johnson government.